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WW South may be down a few players, but these Tigers still have a lot left in the tank.
Despite losing starter Maggie Dansdill (torn ACL) and reserve forward Kelly Langlas to knee injuries within the last week, No. 10 WW South (9-2) had little trouble stopping Glenbard West 57-29 Friday at the Naperville North/Benet Holiday Basketball Tournament in Lisle.
Junior Meghan Waldron led WW South with 23 points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists, sophomore Olivia Linebarger had eight points, and junior Melinda Franke had seven points, six rebounds and three steals.
Glenbard West (3-8) was within 18-12 with 5:04 remaining in the second quarter, but a steal and bucket by Franke ignited a 12-2 run over the final 4:14 of the half to give the Tigers a 30-14 lead at the break.
Franke, a 5-foot-10 forward who had been coming off the bench, filled in for Dansdill in the starting lineup.
“Obviously, not one person can fill Maggie’s position and not one person can fill Kelly’s position,” Franke said. “We have to work together to fill the void. I always pride myself on working extremely hard on defense. I am just going to keep working as hard as I can.”
Sisters Ally (seven points, four rebounds) and Erin Zappia also contributed off the bench for WW South.
“That’s what we do,” WW South coach Rob Kroehnke said. “For years, when people have been called upon, they step up and get it done. The neat thing is that the ones on the floor most of the time support everyone else. It makes the transition really easy.
“We just got to do some different things” he added. We did some things tonight we’ve never done all year. We’ve got to keep working and try to find things that are going to work. Even though players like Melinda and Olivia are young, they know what needs to be done.”
What Glenbard West coach Mike Hofland said his team needs to do is slow the tempo to take advantage of Caitlin Sloane’s presence inside. The 6-3 Loyola recruit led the Hilltoppers with 14 points, seven rebounds, a block and two steals.
“A couple of times when we slowed things down, we looked good,” Hofland said. “Once we got going too fast we turned the ball over too much. Playing at our tempo, that’s going to be the key.
“It’s us making mistakes,” he added. “They’re [WW South] a very good team, but we came down and didn’t ball fake and went right to their kid. That was six points right there we threw right to them (at the end of the first half). The kids know. You could see it on their faces.”
For long stretches of the second half, Glenbard West surrounded Sloane with three sophomores and a freshman. Claire Graham, a 5-8 sophomore, added nine points for the Hilltoppers.
“We’ll get better,” Hofland said. “We got a couple of kids who haven’t had much practice because of injuries. We’re getting them to game speed right now. If we can slow it down and play under control, we’ll be all right.”